This content was originally published by The Hop Review, a digital magazine that joined the Hop Culture family in March 2020.
This piece was written by Jack Muldowney.
Beer & Branding: BrewDog
Some may knowBrewDog as the focus of the popular Esquire Network docu-series where founders Martin Dickie and James Watt travel the world doing extreme collaboration brew outings. Others may know them for their similarly extreme record-breaking brews (highest ABV beer in the world, anyone? How about most expensive?) Then again, many likely know them as the fastest growing brewery in the UK, and one of the most prolific in the world – with and expanded facility and 30+ bars with their namesake across the globe.
So, it was with these accolades under their belt, that it seemed appropriate that BrewDog refresh it’s identity as well. Tackled by an in-house design team, the brewery chose to rework the entire BrewDog brand – from logo to packaging to signage and environmental design. And personally, I couldn’t be a bigger fan of the outcome.
This is one of the few beers in a long time that really made a lasting impression when I held it in my hand. The new design and packaging was accomplished by utilizing century’s old letterpress techniques. And to keep some of that tactile-ness that is common with letterpressing, the labels themselves carry over an emboss and spot varnish to further enhance that raised type effect. This, coupled with the really well executed typography and layout, makes the new BrewDog leaps and bounds better than the old. We asked BrewDog’s resident “Beer Bandito,” Jonathan Moran, to explain the approach to the new look:
“When we changed our packaging in 2014, we did so with one aim in mind – to create packaging that better reflected the beer we make. That meant focusing ruthlessly on two things: quality and craft. We’ve done that by stripping the design process back to basics. By going to one of the UK’s few remaining letterpress studios to hand-print our designs using 100 year-old metal and wood letter blocks. By moving to a thick, uncoated paper and by applying layers of ink with as much personality and character as the beer inside the bottle.
Same beer. Same attitude. Same BrewDog. New approach.”
Images provided by BrewDog. You can see more of the letterpress and package redesign process, here, on BrewDog’s website. And be sure to catch James & Martin’s show ‘Brew Dogs’ on the Esquire Network, as they travel the world taking collaboration brewing to the extreme.